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Developing a support system: healthy caring

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  1. Developing a support system: healthy caring Developing a Support System University Life Cafe

  2. The challenge • Caring for others in one’s life is an important part of making life meaningful. That caring should be healthy—for both the person caring and those being cared for. • A person cannot help another person if it requires putting himself or herself at risk of serious harm or danger. Developing a Support System

  3. What is “healthy caring”? • Friendly • Sincere • Mutually protective and mutually beneficial • Mutually supportive • Respective of each other’s needs and boundaries • Safe • Constructive • Typified by open communications • Non-controlling Developing a Support System

  4. The goal • Suicide is not usually seen as a solution but as an escape from a current difficult situation, which is seen as “unbearable”. • It may be a way to attempt communicating frustration or anger or some message to others in the individual’s life; it may be a “cry for help”. It may be a misguided way to communicate deep emotion for another person. • It may be reactive to a deep, unresolved trauma. • It may be a way to see if others care. Developing a Support System

  5. Suicidal behavior: Signs and symptoms • A loss of interest in life, a decline in appetite, a withdrawal from activities in life • The traumatic loss of a loved one • Communicating a sense of worthlessness and a disinterest in continuing to live • Expressing an intent to die, an obsession with death and / or suicide • Unhealthy peer relationships, isolationism • Worsening school performance Developing a Support System

  6. Suicidal behavior: Signs and symptoms (cont.) • Being in an abusive (physically or emotionally) relationship • Sudden weight changes and / or eating disorders • Difficulty adjusting to gender identity • Depression • Loss of a job or achievement • Loss of self-esteem • A decline in physical health • Rejection by peers or family or significant persons Developing a Support System

  7. Immediate interventions needed when a person… • Announces a plan to kill himself or herself • Says that life is meaningless • Self-isolates and refuses to socialize • Gives away possessions • Acts hostile or sad • Neglects his / her hygiene or appearance • Obtains a weapon or prescription medications that may be used to harm himself or herself • Writes a suicidal note • Shows an unusual calmness after a period of depression Developing a Support System

  8. Ways to reach out • Reach out to the peer. • Ask directly about if the person is considering suicide. • Get a sense of how developed this plan may be to commit suicide. • See if this person has friends or family to turn to. • Get professional help. Developing a Support System

  9. Connecting with professional care • Encourage the student to seek professional help and guidance. • If the student refuses, let someone in the Counseling Center know. • If there is an emergency, contact emergency services. Developing a Support System

  10. Connection to counseling services • Counseling ServicesKansas State University232 English/Counseling Services BldgManhattan, KS 66506-6503785-532-6927counsel@k-state.edu Developing a Support System